"Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into Him, who is the Head, that is Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
Years ago, my husband came home with this story that one of his clients had shared. After seeing it posted on the Internet, my boys have questioned the validity of his story. Nevertheless, it is a funny tale worth sharing.
There was a man living in a local rural community who enjoy hunting. As a result, he owned numerous hunting dogs that he kept living in a pen, which was located in his backyard. His neighbor, who lived down the road, also enjoyed animals and, as a result, raised prize-winning rabbits.
One day, the hunter was in his yard when one of his well-trained hunting dogs properly retrieved for him “the kill” for the day. The hunter almost fell over when the dog proudly dropped a dead “prize rabbit” at his feet.
Immediately, the hunter knew that this was one of his neighbor’s treasures. To make matters worse, the rabbit breeder had frequently expressed his concern regarding the outdoor hunting dogs living in such close proximity to his home.
Fear that a neighborhood relationship would be destroyed, the hunter became desperate. That night, he gave the dead rabbit a bath and carefully blew dry its fur with a hair dryer. In the still dark of the night, the hunter quietly returned the dead rabbit back to its cage in hopes that the owner would think that the rabbit died of natural causes.
A few days later, both neighbors happened to be outside at the same time. After exchanging pleasantries and inquiring “what’s new?”, the rabbit’s owner announced, “You wouldn’t believe what happened the other day! One of my pet rabbits died, so I buried it out in the backyard. The next day, I went back out to the cages to take care of my other rabbits and there was the dead rabbit again, only cleaned and groomed!”
There is a popular saying that “honesty is the best policy!” The Lord also agrees with this statement. Scripture encourages us to “speak truth” but do so “in love”. This does not mean that Christians are empowered to blast everyone with their opinions and thoughts. God’s Word instructs us that when speaking the truth, we need to be sensitive and caring in the manner that we select to deliver the message. In resolving conflicts, how often is the case that “it’s not what you say, but how you say it!”
As we strive to grow closer to and more like Jesus during this Lenten season and always, may we strive to enhance our relationships with one another by speaking the truth in love. Our goal for issues that are “hare” today will be resolved and gone tomorrow.
Have a very special Lenten season as you grow closer to Him!
In Jesus’ Love,